“I like simplicity and coziness,” supermodel Gisele Bundchen told Architectural Digest. “I want to live in a place that feels like a real home, where you can put your feet up on the couch and just relax.”
So of course she and her husband, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, spent $20 million building a quaint little 14,000 square-foot cottage with a six-car garage, walk-in closets with antique crystal chandeliers, an elevator, a weight room, a wine cellar, and a butler’s room.
Also? A moat (presumably to ward off any marauders Bundchen’s astute football-related commentary pisses off).
You know, simple and cozy.
The [mansion] is constructed of different types of limestone, all acid-washed for patina and texture, with a traditional mansard roof of Vermont gray slate with zinc gutters and flashing. A winding driveway leads over a pond to a motor court paved in reclaimed cobblestones and then to a stone bridge spanning a koi-stocked moat that’s picturesque but not pompous.
“Tom and Gisele aren’t worried about impressing people,” architect Richard Landry says. “They’re very sensitive to style and quality, but those considerations never trump comfort and ease.”
When it came to the interiors, designer John Behnke punched up the restrained, sophisticated atmosphere with eye-catching light fixtures that include a confection of dripping silver mesh in the entry, gilded sconces by Hervé Van der Straeten in the great room, and an antique crystal chandelier in Bündchen’s dressing room that the model and designer purchased together in Paris.
The color scheme throughout, playing off the building materials, is decidedly neutral, with occasional accents of green and blue. And the furnishings are unpretentious pieces made with fine natural materials such as Belgian linen, old leather, silk, and velvet.
“Gisele is an earth mother—she’s drawn to certain things because of the energy they give off,” Behnke says. “The motto of this project was ‘Simplify!’ She and Tom were constantly searching for the essence of things.”
Oh that Gisele. Just an earth mother with 14,000 square feet. And Belgian linen, old leather, silk, and velvet.
And a damned moat.